John W. Cowie

24th March 2009, 17:53
I took a stroll along the river esplanade at Foz de Douro last weekend and came across a memorial to "Commandant" (Capt.?), John W. Cowie. Obviously the inscription was in Portuguese but it did make an obvious reference to "Barra de Douro" (Douro Bar) and a date, 19.VII.1958.

Can anyone shed any further light on this gentleman and why the Portuguese should have honoured him? I know there are quite strong British connections to Oporto and the Douro region, via the port trade.

31st March 2009, 16:07
Try these sites - i hope this works
Try these sites 3DG 3DG

4th April 2009, 16:23
Thank you for that. I'm a little further forward in spite of the rather free and idiosyncratic translation!

I can't help feeling it must run a bit deeper than that, though perhaps the local people were just taken up with the idea that a "foreigner", albeit one who knew the bar well, would wish to have his ashes scattered there. Whatever, it's a very warming thought. I doubt many of us will end up with that much of a legacy.

4th April 2009, 17:06
Captain Cowie sounded familiar and I have just dug out my old Discharge Book.
I sailed on the SS Alpera from 7/8/56 till 15/06/57 (Six trips) and for four of them the 'Signature of Master' is J Cowie. The last signature was February 1957.
The Alpera was on a fairly regular run from Glasgow to the Mediterranean and back via Dublin and Belfast - about 6 week trips.
I wonder if it is the same man?